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Poster: rdenirojb87 Date: Oct 31, 2011 2:27pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

Lyrically, this is one of my favorite Dead tunes. Ambiguity always increases my interest. Concrete explanations are boring.

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Poster: chris in long beach Date: Oct 31, 2011 6:12pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

That's funny, I'm the exact opposite. I think ambiguity for the most part is lazy writing (they don't want to commit to anything). Kinda like the ending of The Sopranos.

That said, I still like songs with abstract lyrics, I just pay no attention to them.

Besides, how could you say a song like Simon and Garfunkel's "The Dangling Conversation" is boring?

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Poster: rdenirojb87 Date: Nov 1, 2011 1:19pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

chris, i didn't mean to generalize so much. as a fairly creative thinker, i just find ambiguity to be more interesting. that's what fascinates me about pieces of art from people such as dali. that being said, it's not easy to pull off effectively, and can often be seen as a lazy way out, such as the sopranos finale you mentioned.

i find nothing boring about that s&g tune. paul simon is one of my all-time favorite songwriters. many of the most beautiful songs and pieces of art are not open to much interpretation. but like i said, i usually have a preference for art that's ambiguous.

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Poster: Jacky Hughes Date: Oct 31, 2011 2:52pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

Does it matter what it is 'about' ?

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Poster: RBNW....new and improved! Date: Oct 31, 2011 3:29pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

does it matter what "IT" is about, too?????

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Poster: DeadRed1971 Date: Oct 31, 2011 3:45pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

Well the Hokey Pokey really isn't what it's all about.

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Oct 31, 2011 3:04pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

I think this clarifies things:

http://artsites.ucsc.edu/GDead/agdl/fauthrep.html

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Oct 31, 2011 7:15pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

Hunter's right about the first part. Not Franklin, though. It's definitely not the Liberty Bell. (OK, not in any concrete sense.)

So there, Hunter :-)

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Poster: Jacky Hughes Date: Oct 31, 2011 3:06pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

Ah, thank you for that.

Clear as mud now ;-)

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Poster: Diamondhead Date: Oct 31, 2011 3:43pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

You must love Steely Dan.

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Poster: rdenirojb87 Date: Nov 1, 2011 1:11pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

diamond, ever see the steely dan dictionary?

http://www.steelydandictionary.com

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Poster: Diamondhead Date: Nov 2, 2011 10:04am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

That's pretty funny. Irish folks teaching non-Americans about the obscure lingo in Steely Dan songs.

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Poster: deadpolitics Date: Nov 1, 2011 5:24pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

Love this song - one of my favorite Hunter lyrics.

To me, it's all about the journey of life from a few different perspective and a little advice about how to enjoy the ride - "Roll away the dew".

Your eyes looked through your mothers face - genetic memory, collective consciousness. You are the seed, travelling through infertile land (sand and stone... not much grows). After you blossom may you peacefully return to where you came from.

The bell represents music/euphonic sound which shows you way, uplifts your spirit, helps you carry on. God save the children who seek to connect with the muse - could be addressing Jerry, the GD, the Deadheads, or all of humanity ringing that bell and surviving the sometimes harsh reality.

P.S. Be nice, don't plant ice.

P.P.S. Recognize the four directions - the multiple factors of reality determination - they can be your support if you ask and don't forget to roll away the dew and let the sun shine!

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Poster: rdenirojb87 Date: Nov 1, 2011 6:32pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

I like your interpretation deadpolitics. That's a nice way to look at it. Very uplifting, as is the mood the music itself evokes, so its very fitting.

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Poster: vapors Date: Nov 1, 2011 6:34pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

A recurring theme of RH – getting home.
Awesome song too!

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Poster: truckin52073 Date: Oct 31, 2011 5:25pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

I rarely ever interpret lyrics, but going with the whole "Americana" theme that Hunter likes to go with I'll throw my two cents in. Benjamin Franklin and a whole lot of Masonic imagery. But, what do I know?

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Poster: dark.starz Date: Oct 31, 2011 8:03pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

"What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?"

Should chose be a choose?

Roll away the Dew!

Just Sayin .....

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Poster: rdenirojb87 Date: Nov 1, 2011 1:12pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

lol, thanks ds. i'll be sure to remind you next time you need a correction on your apostrophe use.

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Poster: Mandojammer Date: Nov 1, 2011 8:41am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

Bacon and turtles

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Poster: reviewr Date: Oct 31, 2011 8:36pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

I'm not sure it is really "ambiguity": something being capable of being understood in more than one way. But, more trying to vocalize what can't be said.

We all sort-of get it, but not quite. Our vocabulary fails us. Like "reaching for the gold ring down inside, never could reach, it just slips away".

Hunter is really good at this. Dylan too.

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Poster: vapors Date: Nov 1, 2011 7:13pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

Ha – something ties together personally for me reading your post – speaking of failed vocabulary! I remember many years ago sharing the song (Crazy Fingers) with my dad on my guitar. I was so thrilled at memorizing both the wonderful chord progression and the clever lyric.

His first remark was; “Reaching for the ‘brass’ ring.” This may seem trivial to most, but those who knew my dad would smile knowingly. Yep.

And a sense of knowing is what that gold ring, that bell in that there tower, and getting home are all about. Oh so close…micah, should you be reading this, take it as one of those steps you appeal for. (Just don’t insist that I believe any of it)

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Poster: thekind78 Date: Nov 2, 2011 8:56am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

Isn't it about the Liberty Bell?

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Poster: SpacedAgain Date: Nov 5, 2011 7:57pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

Even harder is trying to figure out the lyrics to "King Solomon's Marbles (Part I: Stronger Than Dirt; Part Ii: Milkin' The Turkey)."

It seems to me about choices to be made but it goes by peaking fast, again and again but stated more clear after 4:00. For me some kind of solace comes after 4:00 in Crazy Fingers.

This post was modified by SpacedAgain on 2011-11-06 02:57:42

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Poster: DeadRed1971 Date: Nov 5, 2011 8:11pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

Yeah, it's always hard to figure out the words to those pesky instrumentals.

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Poster: SpacedAgain Date: Nov 6, 2011 11:45am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

Did you ever see guitarists move their mouth while they play?

It's like music saying what can't be said another way.

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Poster: eyeballjackson Date: Nov 1, 2011 11:30am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

I always thought it was about a rolled-up hundred dollar bill.

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Poster: rdenirojb87 Date: Nov 1, 2011 1:14pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

hunter had to have the intentions of making some believe it was about cocaine. there's far too many coincidences for it to be an accident. almost every line can be interpreted as drug related if you're familiar with all that lingo.

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Poster: vapors Date: Nov 1, 2011 7:19pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

bullshit. this song is not about drugs.
but please feel free to wander where you wish.

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Poster: rdenirojb87 Date: Nov 1, 2011 8:27pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

Vapors, no offense, but it is naive to think hunter did not have that as one of his intended meanings. Maybe your just not familiar with that scene and the lingo, so you don't recognize that as one of the possible meanings. But I guarantee you hunter wanted some people to interpret as a song about cocaine. Don't kid yourself.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Nov 1, 2011 9:50pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

If you've heard Hunter sing it, I would reconsider that...plus, you have read what Hunter sez he meant by it, right?

RIGHT?

Seriously--read the stuff he wrote about it...I think it's pretty clear (link in elb's post).

Trust, I KNEW the drug scene well at that time..I would venture to say this song is not really open to much more than what Hunter had to say about what he meant.

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Poster: fenario80 Date: Nov 2, 2011 4:50pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

I haven't read this whole thread, but I do feel compelled to add that you can't necessarily trust what Hunter says about his own lyrics, any more than you can trust Dylan - have you ever read his "song notes" in the Biograph collection? Obfuscation on top of ambiguity ...

My example is Bertha: Hunter has said that it was about a big electric fan in his dressing room (at the Fillmore? - I don't remember exactly), which makes no sense at all unless you start to consider secondary definitions of the words "electric" and "fan." Then it's pretty funny.

I'm just saying you can't trust guys like this: being asked to explain may just be an invitation to have some fun ...

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Poster: rdenirojb87 Date: Nov 2, 2011 5:21pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

"I do feel compelled to add that you can't necessarily trust what Hunter says about his own lyrics, any more than you can trust Dylan"

that is so very true. i was going to mention that, but i figured others would quickly shoot down my opinion. this thread raises some interesting points. turned out to be more interesting than i anticipated.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Nov 2, 2011 7:23pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

Uh, sorry, it WAS a fan...at the DEAD biz office. They all talked about it. Phil, Jerry, etc; or are you joking?

Sorry, I feel like I'm in a Woody Allen movie, in which the author is brought into clarify to whackos interpreting the plot this way and that, and he says "no, that's not what I meant at all".

This is really getting a bit silly.

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Poster: fenario80 Date: Nov 3, 2011 8:15am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

Nope, not joking. I've heard that story but I've never believed it, and I think the boys went along with what Hunter said about the fan probably because they thought it was pretty funny too ...

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Poster: William Tell Date: Nov 3, 2011 8:25am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

The staff talk about the fan in the office; thus, it existed. I don't get the search for deeper meaning. Do I actually have to dredge up quotes from the gals in the front office?

No offence. But I did a HS report on the meaning of THIS tune, and researched it in 73.

What next--that CCS has significance for the rise of Mao?

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Poster: fenario80 Date: Nov 3, 2011 10:27am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?


Hmmm ... well obviously you know some things that I don't, but the "big electric fan" story seems on the surface to be so absurd that I simply rejected it. It's much more fun to imagine Hunter under siege by a "large tripping groupie" ...

When dealing with modern lyrics or poetry I don't think that considering the possibility of some wordplay is some crazy hunt for meaning. John Lennon's "Because" is one of the Beatles trippiest numbers, but if you break down the lyrics it's just Lennon in a playful, punny mode:
because the world is ROUND, it TURNS me on,
because the sky is BLUE, it makes me CRY,
because the wind is HIGH, it BLOWS MY MIND

Sometimes the simple explanation is the best - but hmmm again - maybe Little Red Rooster really IS about barnyard fowl ...

Peace

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Nov 3, 2011 11:05am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

"maybe Little Red Rooster really IS about barnyard fowl"
That made me laugh out loud - thanks. Sort of like how Led Zeppelin's Lemon Song is about making lemonade.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Nov 3, 2011 10:50am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

Oh yeah, I didn't mean to come too strong; that's related to the ongoing debate about what Hunter was thinking when writing FT. I was only chiming in with "a fan did in fact exist, and they--staff, band, etc--called it Bertha".

You are absolutely right that having taken that "factoid" really has nothing to do with what Hunter might have gone on to "use" it for...

IE, since he didn't explain in detail as he did with FT, it isn't as clear, but I just wanted to establish that there was a "starting point" of a "fan called Bertha".

In fact, at the time, we thought it MUCH more insightful, bizarre, literary genius, and such, to find out that it was a FAN and not a lg chested, very angry woman chasing Jerry out into the rain. To me, that's the simpler explanation.

IN fact, when doing my paper on it, everyone said "no way this is about a fan!", and of course, the overall song is not, IMHO (in this case), but that little reference to a real-life item is classic Hunter, IMO.

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Poster: rdenirojb87 Date: Nov 2, 2011 8:19am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

please don't take this wrong away or take offense, to anyone reading this. just making some points, with no harm intended.

It really isn't so clear actually. hunter never says that what is written in that essay is really what the song is about.

it even says about one lyric: [Now to the real stretch: "Roll away the dew."
not so clear if you have to make big stretches to prove your point.

does this sound like it really only has one meaning!?:
"If you get confused, listen to the music play" (20) from "Franklin's Tower", a line that taken by itself offers guidance to a perplexed listener. Yet it is embedded within a song that is as obscure as a lot of second set- lyrics; "Franklin's Tower" is evocative yet of undeterminable meaning. The above-mentioned catchphrase-line is almost hidden within the song and has to be read out of context to prompt the joyful response it usually gets.



anyway, the brilliance in hunter's writing is that it allows for so many interpretations. most interpretations were intended, including the cocaine one, whether folks want to believe it or not. it is one of the main beliefs on what this song about, and hunter surely intended this. if he wanted to strictly go with the americana thing, he would have used other lyrics, that couldn't be directly interpreted as being about cocaine. i can write an entire essay proving this point, but i don't have the desire to, as my input isn't valued enough around here. it may have been a coincidence if there were a few lyrics that pointed to the cocaine theory, but it's the entire song! it is a perfectly written metaphor for cocaine use; every bit of it. it is also as much about events during the american revolution. the beauty is, you have the choice! so don't tell me bullshit vapors, it can't be about drug use. if you believe that, you are missing the the beauty of hunter's writing. do you honestly think it's a coincidence that the entire song, lyric for lyric, can also be interpreted as a metaphor for cocaine use? you think hunter wouldn't have noticed this strange coincidence? it's no coincidence! the people who don't see this are either in denial, or just not capable of making the connection. either way, your loss. no hard feelings.

This post was modified by rdenirojb87 on 2011-11-02 15:19:23

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Poster: William Tell Date: Nov 2, 2011 8:31am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

I understand that Hunter "likes" to push the "take it as you see it" point, BUT in this particular instance, he provides enough of an outline of what was going on at the time, thoughts that occurred to him while writing, that the actual words that came out on paper seem clear and straight forward enough (again, given he provided so much detail on the writing of it).

Now, I agree completely that he would love to say to you "ah ha, I see how you can do that--interpret it YOUR way" blah, blah, blah...but I am reducing it to how he wrote it, at that time, and the words seem very simple and straight forward in that context.

Of course they can have double meanings, etc., etc.; but then we are really out on a limb...we could say "Truckin" isn't about living life, or whatever...and everyone's free to do that, but I think in this one case, it's a stretch.

It implies he used those terms, in FT, for the reasons you allude to, when he's provided his own alternative explanations (even if when viewed separately--just the words--they can have other meanings) for why he selected those words. Thus, in spite of alternative explanations being possible, they don't seem likely.

None of this means it can't be interpreted that way, but why bother? We can all make up stories, or have true ones at hand (like mine for Cosmic Charlie), that resonate with lyrics, but it doesn't mean the author was thinking those thoughts when writing the song, which is what I thought you said.

That's all I am on about...was Hunter "thinking drug terms" while writing it, and I answer--as he does--"no". Can they be interpreted that way? Sure. But you said "he meant...", right?

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Poster: rdenirojb87 Date: Nov 2, 2011 9:35am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

Tell, you are wise beyond your years, errr... maybe just wise. Any further beyond and you could be in a nursing home :P

This post was modified by rdenirojb87 on 2011-11-02 16:35:00

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Poster: William Tell Date: Nov 2, 2011 10:29am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

I'll take the nurse, hold the home...

Groucho?

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Nov 2, 2011 5:42pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

I hope I do not inflame things, but I am just curious. What is the argument for the cocaine interpretation? Lay it on us.

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Poster: rdenirojb87 Date: Nov 2, 2011 6:16pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

If my efforts were appreciated a bit more, I would gladly write an entire essay on it. However I know it would mostly be criticized by people who can't accept the fact that their beloved Franklin's Tower might be about cocaine, in addition to the American revolution. If you look at the back of an old 100 dollar bill while reading the lyrics, it should hopefully be pretty clear. I'd rather not interpret every line as I see it right now, as it would take quite some time. Just a few quick points that support this theory:

- ben FRANKLIN on the front of the $100 dollar bill, and the liberty bell (TOWER) on the back. snorting coke through a rolled up franklin ($100 dollar bill) is something that anyone familiar with that scene knows all about. most musicians in the '70s and '80s and could be found with a franklin up their nose at some point. if you did blow, you made sure you had a $100 dollar bill handy for image sakes to snort it with.
“I'll tell you where the four winds dwell 
In Franklin's tower there hangs a bell 
It can ring, turn night to day 
It can ring like fire when you loose your way.”
those last 2 lines especially point the cocaine theory.

- dew, can be considered another term for money, or a bill ($100 dollar bill in this case)
- roll away the dew is basically, roll up the bill. roll up that franklin, plant ice (blow), and harvest wind

"Some come to laugh their past away 
Some come to make it just one more day 
Whichever way your pleasure tends 
If you plant ice you're gonna harvest the wind."
those 4 lines can easily refer to cocaine use

there's more, but this will probably just get criticized, so I have no reason to go further right now. hope some of the above makes sense.

This post was modified by rdenirojb87 on 2011-11-03 01:16:44

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Nov 2, 2011 6:22pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

Hm, ok, thanks. I'm a lot more bummed to imagine the song is about the American Revolution than about cocaine! The Liberty Bell, please ...

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Poster: William Tell Date: Nov 2, 2011 7:32pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

I think it has more to do with having had a kid during the buildup to the bicentennial. But, your reaction is precisely why people would prefer it have some alternate meaning, don't ya think?

;)

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Nov 3, 2011 5:29am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

Not following you ...

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Nov 3, 2011 6:32am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

"note that this song appeared in 1975,
the year after my son was born and the
year before the American Bicentennial.
Both facts are entirely relevant. The
allusion to the Liberty Bell and the
situation of the Philadelphia Congress
in the hometown of Ben Franklin has not
gone unnoticed by other commentators.
This song is a birthday wish both for
my son and for my country, each young
and subject to the winds of vicissitude.
Individual and collective freedom,
liberty, conscience, all that is conjured
by those concepts, is suggested
in the image of the tolling bell."

- Robert Hunter


Cocaine song my arse, frankly.

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Nov 3, 2011 6:42am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

Very interesting. I don't see why it would be incompatible with cocaine imagery, though. (Heaven knows what the founders put up their own noses ...)

I'm just sort of disappointed to hear that, because to me the Liberty Bell is a dreary spot. I worked in an office next door to it for years. I know it is a great symbol of our liberty and our democracy blah-blah, but to me it conjures lines of sweaty tourists being frisked by security, after which they pay a ridiculous sum to take a horse-drawn carriage ride and snarl up rush hour traffic.

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Nov 3, 2011 6:59am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

I know it's a big old cliche to say this but a good song or poem is as much holding up a mirror to the listener/reader as it is opening a window on to the writer. Interpretation is probably more revealing of the mind and experiences of the interpreter than it is those of the writer. I find the cocaine interpretation to be tin-eared, puerile and poetically totally unsatisfying.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Nov 3, 2011 7:29am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

Ah, a voice of reason...I was pulling my hair out with this one.

Thanks.

Of course, every song can have a multitude of meanings; and Hunter plays that game at times (I think too much, frankly), but when saying "I know it's a song about drugs..." when the author told us very plainly what was going on, is just...baffling.

I suppose if you didn't grow up in the early 70s, you didn't know how huge it was, even for the anti-establishment sorts...USBlues is another, of course, and it was not all snide mockery, etc., etc. We all got caught up in the stuff leading to 1976.

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Poster: unclejohn52 Date: Nov 3, 2011 7:51am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about? - Mr. Charlie told me so

"puerile and poetically totally unsatisfying" Absolutely agree, especially in this case, where Hunter (for once) has given us a very specific explanation of his words and the thought process behind them.

I've heard that in iron-making, like creating a bell, the hot metal, while cooling, beads up with a sweat, and the maker "rolls" this off the metal. Just another possible source for the expression, and we know Hunter collects little tidbits like this....

Now if we want to talk drug references, the most blatant GD example is of course, Mr. Charlie. Definitely a straight-up heroin song. Or Sweet Jane, who lost her sparkle...

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Poster: rdenirojb87 Date: Nov 3, 2011 9:36am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about? - Mr. Charlie told me so

how about china cat? i have fond memories of tripping to china cat and visualizing the lyrics.

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Poster: unclejohn52 Date: Nov 3, 2011 10:48am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you choose to believe Franklin's Tower is about? - Mr. Charlie told me so

Definitely. Drug references aplenty... like TOO:

Escaping through the lily fields, I came across an empty space
It trembled and exploded, left a bus stop in its place
The bus came by and I got on, that's when it all began
There was Cowboy Neal at the wheel of the bus to never ever land

edit: BTW, the answer to your original question:

Picky people choose Jif.

This post was modified by unclejohn52 on 2011-11-03 17:48:29

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Poster: dire Date: Mar 18, 2012 2:21pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

the thread is boring partly for it's intensity. (and it's passive aggressive initiation.
If, or not, Franklin's Tower were a cocaine song, which in the eighties we laughed merrily about.. if/when one isn't a using user, that's not what the song makes one think about, probably. But it can.

I've Been Working on the Railroad is also a cocaine song, in which the protagonist tries to trade drugs for oral sex but ends up settling for a hand job. I can "prove" it.

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Nov 3, 2011 7:23am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

Why? He made the case that many of the terms have quite specific drug-related meanings. Why is that tin-eared and puerile?

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Poster: William Tell Date: Nov 3, 2011 7:41am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

For one, NO musical sorts used $100 bills in the 70s in the Bay Area; this is PURE myth. It was far too dirty, collected bits of the important material, etc., etc., etc. Plus, Hunter did not carry them, nor did members of the DEAD. I bet my life on that...I will not admit to doing this 1000s of times, but trust, yes, it was something along the lines of that figure, with people of all economic backgrds, and other little devices were used for very obvious reasons...this is an urban myth.

Folks only used money, and any would do, when they had to...

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Nov 3, 2011 7:49am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

Thanks. Makes sense. I did wonder why a hundred dollar bill, I mean, we're talking about hippies.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Nov 3, 2011 7:57am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

Think for ONE second; what is the most commonly available, cheaply available, FREE item, that can be found in ANY vehicle, ANY home, at the dawn of the fast food era?

A straw.

No more need be said.

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Nov 3, 2011 8:00am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

Sure. I can't imagine why a person would waste a perfectly good hundred dollar bill that way. I assumed it was a status thing.

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Poster: rdenirojb87 Date: Nov 3, 2011 9:16am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

"I can't imagine why a person would waste a perfectly good hundred dollar bill that way."

lol who said it gets wasted? 90% of all bills in the u.s. have traces of cocaine on them.

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Nov 3, 2011 10:26am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

Oh, come now, that is a bogus statistic :)

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Nov 3, 2011 10:33am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

http://healthland.time.com/2009/08/16/nearly-90-of-u-s-money-has-traces-of-cocaine/

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Nov 3, 2011 10:35am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

Good grief ...

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Poster: rdenirojb87 Date: Nov 3, 2011 10:38am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

yup, america loves drugs far more than any other country. the statistics on our drug use compared to other countries is astounding.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Nov 3, 2011 11:36am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: This is what you said:

OK, as you say last comments, right?

First, $100 bills are in the minority (read the study).

Second, big change in rate of contamination from early 70s to "now" (see study and others).

Last, and most important, when I "reacted" it was to your comment above that "...Vapors, no offense, but it is naive to think hunter did not have that as one of his intended meanings. Maybe your just not familiar with that scene and the lingo, so you don't recognize that as one of the possible meanings. But I guarantee you hunter wanted some people to interpret as a song about cocaine. Don't kid yourself."

This is not saying "one interpretation"; this is YOU saying "Hunter intended it..."

We now agree that's not true, right? I rest my case, whether you want to go along with it or not, but you've waffled from "he meant it this way" to "I interpret it..." and I was always only arguing with the former, not the latter.

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Poster: rdenirojb87 Date: Nov 3, 2011 11:56am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: This is what you said:

gotcha. i should have stated myself better. this thread is making me jaded. last comment indeed. peace wt.

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Nov 3, 2011 11:52am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

as are our rates of incarceration.

Nod to Grandmaster Flash - wonder what they meant?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmIN9ulmy-E

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Nov 3, 2011 12:15pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What you choose to believe is bollocks

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10390086

So you can fuck right off, yankee boy!

funny-scot.jpg

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Poster: rdenirojb87 Date: Nov 3, 2011 12:35pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What you choose to believe is bollocks

i guess you scots like your blow. however the united states is still, by a huge margin, the single largest consumer of drugs anywhere in the world. i believe most of europe has a fairly low % of cannabis users.

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Nov 3, 2011 12:47pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What you choose to believe is bollocks

Actually the statistics show that 96.3 percent of Scots couldn't give a (blow) monkeys.

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Poster: bran ddu Date: Nov 3, 2011 2:19pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What you choose to believe is bollocks

We are doing our best...

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Nov 3, 2011 2:35pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What you choose to believe is bollocks

Ydych chi wedi ymweld â'm gwlad i?

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Poster: DeadRed1971 Date: Nov 3, 2011 3:23pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What you choose to believe is bollocks

Don't talk with your mouth full.

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Poster: bran ddu Date: Nov 3, 2011 3:28pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What you choose to believe is bollocks

Mi ges I fy ngeni yng nghymru.

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Poster: bran ddu Date: Nov 3, 2011 3:28pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What you choose to believe is bollocks

Mi ges I fy ngeni yng nghymru.

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Nov 3, 2011 4:26pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What you choose to believe is bollocks

Definitely not Scots then. :-)

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Nov 3, 2011 12:19pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What you choose to believe is bollocks

Congrats. Guess I'll have to rewatch Trainspotting... It made drug use look so glamorous:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJrWlHRT-18&;feature=related

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Poster: rdenirojb87 Date: Nov 3, 2011 12:36pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What you choose to believe is bollocks

" It made drug use look so glamorous:"
compared to some other shit i've seen, it makes it look very glamourous, mainly for the reason that that the main character walks away at the end almost totally unscathed, which almost never happens in that dark world. also, the scene where he shoots up, and sinks into the carpet as lou reed's "perfect day" starts playing. trainspotting doesn't paint heroin out to be nearly as bad as it is.

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Nov 3, 2011 7:59am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

So Jack Straw is a drug song?!!

A ha!!

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Poster: William Tell Date: Nov 3, 2011 8:04am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

Well played!

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Nov 3, 2011 7:52am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

Well done, WT. I was coming at it purely from a literary perspective but you've nicely illustrated the folly of a hypothesis that doesn't properly reference the facts.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Nov 3, 2011 8:07am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

And on the literary front, I trust that Hunter is being honest, and not deceitful, in acknowledging emotions that went along with birth, our Nation, blah, blah, blah...this is part of his entire "Americana canon" if you will.

Folks too often think of the DEAD as completely off the grid, anti-establishment sorts, but at the time, there was still a lot of "we just want to do 'this' better" than our parents, and it's still a great Nation" blah, blah, blah.

So, I see no problem with his ditties on this theme....

This post was modified by William Tell on 2011-11-03 15:07:42

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Nov 3, 2011 7:40am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

It's tin eared because of all the multitude of interpretations you could shoehorn into these words dismissing it as a 'drug song' does a monumental disservice to Hunter's poetic integrity. Do you truly believe that he would painstakingly - and I don't doubt that he took great pains to get it right - craft these richly allusive words with the intention of producing a hymn to shoving a banknote up your nose? That really is a trivial, and yes, puerile, interpretation.

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Nov 3, 2011 7:54am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

I guess it depends on your feelings about drugs. I never snorted cocaine, and it seems to me people don't generally have the same kinds of warm fuzzy feelings about cocaine that one hears (here and other places) about a wide variety of drug experiences, mainly psychedelics - life changing, mind expanding, "you can't understand the music without it" etc. Your mileage or my mileage may vary but lots of people apparently feel this way. I wouldn't really know if people feel that way about cocaine; it surprised me a bit to hear it, but I was not there. Perhaps it is a coincidence if some of the imagery coincides with cocaine-talk but it doesn't seem like a crazy suggestion to me. If you feel that trivializes the song it seems to me you are mainly telling us how you feel about cocaine use.

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Poster: SpacedAgain Date: Nov 5, 2011 7:28pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

If it were about drugs it would likely be about the main one. You could consider dancing as away to purify one from toxins by sweating while rock & rolling. If you were cold to people at shows, you'd be blown away one way or another.

More generally Franklin's Tower seems to be about every person's journey in this life. We're all in Exodus, and maybe looking for inspiration or manna from heaven so we don't get caught up in Babylon.

God save the child, hmmm. I'm not sure if there was one good ring in the Liberty Bell. Anyone know?

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Nov 3, 2011 8:08am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

Respectfully I'm not telling you a single thing about my opinions on cocaine use. What I am making clear, I hope, are my opinions on lazy, second-rate literary interpretation that would rather slap on a cheap surface veneer than work to bring out the rich grain of meanings running through the piece.

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Nov 3, 2011 8:17am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

Yeah, saying it's cheap, puerile etc. because it's about drugs tells us mainly your feelings about drugs. Not every lyric Robert Hunter penned was deep and profound. We can trash all the performers any way we like, right, and declare entire decades of performances unlistenable? But we're supposed to think every lyric was practically Shakespearean? I have no idea if deniro is right or if he has no idea what he is talking about. At least WT gives us some facts to consider, rather than just bullying about telling people their "literary interpretations" are second rate. No one was trying to do "literary interpretation." It's a Grateful Dead forum.

It is far from crazy to suggest there might be drug references in Grateful Dead lyrics. Hello!!

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Poster: rdenirojb87 Date: Nov 3, 2011 8:44am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

Thanks for continuing to argue this point ring. You've perfectly stated many of my thoughts when reading replies to this theory. Im sorry I don't have the patience to discuss this topic any further. It's too bad there are so many close-minded people around here. It seems like people thought I was saying, "this is what the song is about," when I was merely suggesting one interpretation.

This post was modified by rdenirojb87 on 2011-11-03 15:44:24

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Nov 3, 2011 8:42am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

I'm not really arguing your point, WT has pretty well convinced me it probably wasn't about cocaine. I just didn't see why there had to be such contempt and loathing for an innocuous suggestion. "Literary" and "drugs" are not distant relatives.

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Poster: rdenirojb87 Date: Nov 3, 2011 8:51am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

"WT has pretty well convinced me it probably wasn't about cocaine."

I've always been convinced, but the cocaine theory is an interesting one to explore, which is why i wanted to discuss it. robert hunter was very familiar with the drug scene. he surely realized the coke implications he was making as writing this. no way that would go over his head, and because he chose the words he did, it is not crazy at all to suggest this theory. ok i'm finally done here. i think this topic has been discussed enough for now.

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Nov 3, 2011 8:59am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

Well hello to you too.

Are you suggesting I park my brain at the door because the sign says 'Grateful Dead forum'? Tell me, where did I suggest that drug references were absent from Grateful Dead lyrics or that Hunter's every utterance was an exercise in profundity? We are not talking about 'every lyric' - we're talking about one specific lyric, and one of Hunter's better ones, that I believe deserves better than a comically naive 'drug' interpretation that doesn't hold water factually (Tell) or artistically (me).

You know as much about my thoughts on drug use now as you did before this discussion started - which is exactly nothing.



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Poster: William Tell Date: Nov 3, 2011 8:31am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

Oh, I got that...but in this particular instance, there are the facts of the times in which he wrote it (birth, nation), and HIS explanation; then, there are the myths, (I say that with great confidence having done 'it' many, times, with many in the music biz, backstage, etc., in the early 70/mid 70s) which are used to support an alt explanation. It seems entirely unnecessary.

On coke, trust that like others of its ilk, in terms of the euphoric state induced when pure, well, I am afraid only morphine and heroin best it, but they have the sleep inducing components, whereas coke does not, and prior to the degradation of the street form, in the late 70s, it was hard to beat if you wanted to "play", or "party". The others were more for inward, downtime experiences (per Jerry later in his life).

All, of course, has serious addiction properties, but hey, even Sherlock knew a 7% solution might just do the trick, eh?

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Nov 3, 2011 8:49am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

It is interesting that the media has now decided that even crack cocaine was not so utterly evil as they made it out to be in the 1980's.

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Nov 3, 2011 8:52am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

nothing better than pharmaceutical grade blow. sorry - flame away.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Nov 3, 2011 11:34am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

Nothing from this corner.

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Poster: vapors Date: Nov 1, 2011 9:02pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

I am familiar with that scene, the lingo and also the works of Robert. Hunter. But your guarantee means little. No kidding.

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Poster: eyeballjackson Date: Nov 1, 2011 2:28pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

who said anything about cocaine? :p

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Nov 1, 2011 11:36am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

that does give the song an entirely different meaning to me.

kind of like when i found out suspicious minds was apparently written about elvis' relationship with col tom parker - true or not, never heard the song the same.

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Poster: eyeballjackson Date: Nov 1, 2011 11:40am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What do you chose to believe Franklin's Tower is about?

I know what you mean. Even if it's just coincidental, it's hard NOT to believe once you hear it.